Written by April Reinhardt (last updated September 5, 2008)
When I was a kid, I sometimes developed open sores on the inside of my mouth, most times on the inside of my lower lip. They were a nuisance, especially when I drank orange juice. Mom told me that it was a cold sore and was caused by my eating too many tomatoes, or drinking too much orange juice.
That certainly wasn't the case. The acid in the orange juice and tomatoes simply exacerbated the problem, since it was an open sore, and was not caused by ingesting acidic foods.
The same virus that causes chicken box (herpes simplex virus, or HSV) causes cold sores. Once contracted, HSV stays dormant in the body and may manifest itself in later years as shingles.
Here are some tips to get rid of cold sores faster, and to help lessen the associated pain they cause:
Keep in mind that you cannot prevent getting a cold sore. They are caused by a viral infection, and they are contagious. They spread from person to person myriad ways; coughing, sneezing, kissing a person who has a cold sore, and by touching things that another person with a cold sore has touched. For example, if a baby is teething and has cold sores, which is quite common, and the baby uses your leather key chain to chew on, you can be infected the next time you touch your key chain and then touch your mouth. Some health professionals feel that trauma to the mouth can cause cold sores to develop, such as biting the inside of your cheek and developing cuts caused by braces. Cold sores can also develop because of stress and hormonal changes within the body.
If you have continued and frequent cold sore outbreaks, or if you suspect that you may have infected cold sores, seek professional help for treatment.
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